Headlines – Week of June 13, 2010

June 18, 2010

Where America’s Money Is Moving (from Forbes.com)

Forbes.com recently published an article ranking the areas of the U.S. where wealthy Americans are relocating.  To find places the rich are moving, Forbes used IRS data on household moves broken down by county and income. 

Collier County (which includes the city of Naples) is a favorite relocation destination of the wealthy, according to the report.

The average income for the 15,150 people who relocated to Collier County in 2008 was $76,161, the highest in the nation, according to the data. Although slightly more taxpayers moved out of Collier County than into it, the departing residents’ average income came out to just $26,128 per person.

Often, the arrival of wealthy residents can have economic benefits for all residents.  The economic theory is that as income rises, consumption rises.

According to the article it is no surprise that America’s wealthy like warm weather and low taxes.

Households that moved to Collier County principally came from other parts of Florida, with Lee, Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Orange counties leading the list. Big northern cities also sent lots of migrants: Cook County, Ill. (home to Chicago); Oakland County, Mich. (near Detroit); and Suffolk County, N.Y. (on Long Island) each sent more than 100 people to Collier County during 2008.

In second place is Greene County, Ga., with a population of just 15,743 at the Census Bureau’s last estimate. Rounding out the top five: Nassau County, Fla., near Jacksonville; Llano County, Texas, 70 miles northwest of Austin; and Walton County, Fla., 80 miles east of Pensacola.

The dominance of the list by Florida and Texas–the former has eight of the top 20 counties, the latter four, makes sense since neither state has an income tax.

After accounting for property taxes, Texas has the fourth-lowest personal tax burden in the country, and Florida has the eighth lowest. Eight states that have targeted wealthy households with extra-high tax brackets: California, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Hawaii, Oregon, Connecticut and Wisconsin. Six of the top 10 counties the rich are fleeing are located in those states.

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Lee County leads in job growth, but lags overall

According to a report released by the Brookings Institution. Lee County led the largest metropolitan areas in job growth early this year, but the local economy remains hobbled by the recession,

The MetroMonitor, a barometer of the health of America’s metropolitan economies.  It attempts to look “beneath the hood” of national economic statistics to portray the diverse metropolitan landscape of recession and recovery across the country. It aims to enhance understanding of the local underpinnings of national economic trends, and to promote public and private sector responses to the downturn that take into account metropolitan areas’ distinct strengths and weaknesses.

The June edition of the Monitor examines indicators through the first quarter of 2010 (ending in March) in the areas of employment, unemployment, output, home prices, and foreclosure rates for the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.

The report found that, “employment recovery has been much less widespread and less consistent than output recovery.

Lee County’s total employment increased 1.1% in the first quarter of 2010, enough to top the Austin metropolitan area as the top job growth area, according to the quarterly MetroMonitor report issued by Brookings.

This is the first increase seen in Lee County since the recession began. The Top 100 metro areas averaged a 0.1% job loss in the first quarter, according to the report.

Although Lee County showed employment growth, it still ranked near the bottom of the top 100 metro areas in the other nine statistics tracked in the report.

Lee ranked 99th in total employment since the economic peak in 2006, with a total decline of 16.4%. Only the Detroit metropolitan area was worse.

Lee County remained at the bottom of the list for gross metropolitan product change since late 2006, (down 15.1%) and total number of bank-owned properties per 1,000 (18.95).

Seven of the eight Florida metropolitan areas ranked in the bottom 20% of the areas in the study. Only Orlando ranked higher but was still in the bottom half of all areas.

The strongest performing areas in the study included all six large metropolitan areas in Texas, Washington, D.C., and several on the Great Plains.

Full Report

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

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